A Few Days in Belize
A few months after we Brian and I got married, we decided to take a spur of the moment beach trip with friends.. after considering a few, easily accessible (from Houston) international options, we decided to head to Belize for a long weekend! We decided on Ambergris Caye, Belize. This is the largest Island in Belize and is highly recommended by the locals – After a quick few weeks of planning – we were off to Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Preface: When Ally and I decided to start this blog, we wanted it to be a place where you all can come for truthful reviews on the places we have been, and places where we could like to go. With that being said, I want to preface this by saying that while we had a wonderful time in Belize... we probably wouldn't go back. I just feel like there are so many other places to see in the world, that I wouldn't spend money going back to Belize!
We didn’t really have a set itinerary and just explored the Island every day… so rather than share an itinerary with you, I’m just going to outline some important pieces of info!
Getting to Ambergris Caye: We flew from Houston into BZE Airport. Once you land in Belize, you’ll need to get over to your specific Island! From BZE to Ambergris Caye, you will need to take a domestic flight with Maya Island Air to get to San Pedro Ambergis Caye. The cost of the flight is approximately $157.50USD per person. Most hotels and Villas will book this for you, and add the flight cost to your bill upon departure! We took this flight on the way to Ambergris Caye – it is about 15 minutes and the views are absolutely beautiful. If you don’t want to fly, you can also take a ferry from the airport to Ambergris Caye – it is about $BZD/person and takes about 90 minutes!
How to get around: Gas vehicles are not permitted on the Island of Ambergris Caye, so it is recommended that you rent a golf cart to get around! We rented a 6 seater golf cart and had so much fun driving it around! There is something just so calming and that feels so “vacay” about being surrounded by golf carts. There are tons of golf cart rental places in Ambergris Caye, so its easy to get a good deal – we rented through San Pedro Golf Carts and the price was $260 for 4 days.
Where to stay: While there are a few small hotels in Ambergris Caye, we opted for a Villa where we could have our own space! We stayed in Villa Watina – for 4 nights and it was bliss! We hadn’t realized that in Belize a lot of the ocean is not swimmable like a normal beach would be, so we were lucky in that our Villa had an amazing… massive pool. The villa complex is composed of 8 Villas that all share a pool, however, we just so happened to be the only guests there for the entirety of our stay! It definitely would have been a different experience had we been sharing the pool – it would have felt more like a hotel than a private villa.
Here’s some other info that I gathered before we went, though we didn’t do all of these things – they were highly recommended by friends and locals!
- Beach Basket
- All sorts of foods; drinks, snacks, breakfast items
- Located more north of town center
- Reasonably priced
- Caye Mart
- Has everything also
- Off of Laguna Dr. more towards town center
- Super Buy Supermarket
- The one Kelly recommended
- On the corner of Ambergis and Almond St (painted pink on the outside)
- Mata Grande Grocery (Delivers groceries)
- 4.5 miles north San Pedro Town
- Crazy Canucks
- Wahoo’s Lounge
- Thursday is chicken poop bingo
- Papalas (foat and drink)
- 5 minutes north of the bridge
- Belize boat BBQ
- Evli’s Kitchen (must)
- Nook Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
- Rain Restaurant and Rooftop Terrace ($$$)
- Maybe go here for our nice dinner one night
- Catamaran on Seduced
- They take you to the reed to snorkel and then to shark ray alley to swim with them and then on to caye caulker
- Secret beach
- See Leonardo DiCaprio’s island from here
- Secret Beach Paradise Bar
- Belize Chocolate
- Taste the Belize chocolate difference at the Belize Chocolate Company, a family owned bean to bar artisan chocolate maker using certified organic, fair trade and direct trade from small family farms in Southern Belize, and Belizean cane sugar to make their signature Belizean chocolate.
- They offer a chocolate class which explains the chocolate making process from the cacao beans grown here in Belize to the making of the chocolate. The class offers samples of our chocolate as well. The class is offered at 10:30am every week day and the cost is $15BZ per person. The class usually takes about 30-45 minutes. They can also do private lessons!
- Mayan Ruins
- While the most impressive Mayan ruins in Belize are located on the mainland, Ambergris Caye is home to one designated Mayan site: Marco Gonzalez. Since the island was once home to more than 20,000 Mayan traders at the height of their civilization, there are ruins left on the island.
- This site is new and relatively un-excavated. Here you’ll find small mounds or ceremonial caves rather than large structures like you will find at Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Lamanai and Tikal in Guatemala. However, it does make for a fascinating half day trip to the south side of the island and a good introduction to this ancient civilization.
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve
- Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize’s oldest marine reserve,the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for ‘little channel.” The entire reserve focuses on a cut through the reef (called a quebrada) which is little more than 25 yards (23 m) wide and 30 feet (9 m) deep about 4 miles southeast of San Pedro.
- It is the single most popular day trip from San Pedro, perfect for snorkeling or diving.
- You must hire a boat and guide out of San Pedro or Caye Caulker. The costs start from $12.50USD per person depending on the services offered. It is easy to mix diving and snorkeling. Trips usually run once in the morning and again in the afternoon.
Lastly, there is a wonderful visitor center in San Pedro on Caribena Street is open from 9am to 5 pm daily. The visitor center is well stocked with displays, information and brochures about the marine habitats of Belize.
Belize is definitely worth seeing as it is so close to Houston! Thank you so much for reading!
Happy Travels, – Abi